San Diego, California - After last week’s firestorm, the County of San Diego is urging residents to be prepared and to take steps to protect you and your family as the year-round fire-risk season continues.

One important step is to download the County’s free SD Emergency app, available from both the Apple Store and Google Play. The app  has preparedness information, and provides critical updates  during a disaster, such as shelters, health warnings and other information.


Gather items for a home, work and car emergency kit to last three days at minimum. The items should be stored in a ready-to-grab waterproof bag or container, such as a plastic tub. Pre-packaged emergency kits are available at some big box stores or at the American Red Cross, but residents can also put their own kits together by buying items or gathering items from home. Include the following:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Radio
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries  

Personalize your kits for your family by considering the dietary needs of infants, pets and other family members. If anyone in your family requires medication, keep an extra week’s supply in your kits. Keep a copy of important documents such as insurance policies, identification, and bank records in case you have to evacuate quickly. You can scan and store them online or on a thumb drive. Do the same with family photographs.

Creating defensible space and maintaining it around your home not only prevents fire from spreading quickly, but offers up a buffer zone for firefighters, giving them a better chance to work in relative safety to protect the property.


A disaster could happen while parents are at work and children are at school. Complete a family disaster plan and review it every year to establish things such as a reunion location if you are separated from your family and identifying the location of utilities around your home.  

To complete a family disaster plan, visit, and click the Family tab. Templates are available in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese.

Stay informed

During an emergency, the County of San Diego emergency website will be updated with news including road closures and shelters. If you prefer a mobile version, download the County’s free mobile app.

Residents can also sign up to get free emergency alerts by cell phone during a disaster. Register your phone for AlertSanDiego. You can register up to five phone numbers per address.

If the power is out, you can use your battery-powered radio to get updates from KOGO 600 AM or XTRA Sports 1360 AM. Residents can call 2-1-1 for emergency updates or services.

The County of San Diego also will also send out information on Twitter via the San Diego County, Ready San Diego and San Diego Listo accounts.